I am undergoing something of a realisation that it's probably a good thing for me to switch up my camera gear a bit. I'm getting rid of my current DSLR gear because I only ever got it out a few times a year, mostly for motorsport stuff and I've had fun with that but I'm finding that I prefer to actually watch the events rather than constantly having a viewfinder to my eye.
So a complete about-face is in order.
I want to take more photos, more often - so my main goal is to downsize and have something that I can easily carry with me most of the time. Like some fella said, the best camera is the one that's with you. These new compact cameras like the Fuji X100 are very appealing, but I haven't seen any reviews of it yet... Actually the X100 is almost the only one I would consider because I want a viewfinder.
The other thing I have been considering is a rangefinder. The things that really draw me to it are the facts that you have a constant image in the viewfinder, it doesn't black out at the moment of the photo, the large and bright viewfinder, plus the additional out of frame view (quiet operation is also a nice thing). Quality is expensive so I'm thinking if I went that way I would have to save some pennies and keep an eye out for a used M8. Or the other option is to buy something like an M3 and start shooting alot of B&W and process it myself or just find a place that can do bulk processing/scanning for a good price?
I also read something here about one of those 4/3, compact type cameras that can use the Leica M mount lenses? Then someone else bought out the good point that image quality is in the lens, the body just captures it and they will always change.
I'm interested in your thoughts. I'm quite happy to spend money on quality and I'd view it as a lifelong purchase. Or there's the other option to avoid the up-front cost and go with a film camera and pay as I go along for processing etc.
The other thing I should add is that I'm perfectly happy for complete manual controls, and easily accessible controls are high on the want list. Presets will mostly be ignored and cameras with settings buried in menus will be removed from consideration.